Tips for Adjusting to Your Military Prosthesis

Tips for Adjusting to Your Military Prosthesis

Life in the military requires mental sharpness, intense focus, and specialized skills — it also requires tip-top physical condition. And over time, the drills and workouts take their toll.

Like elite athletes, soldiers need to take proactive steps to protect their bodies and avoid performance-hindering pain. If you join forces with our team at Ortho Engineering, Inc., you can give your joints and limbs a clear advantage every time you go to work. Here’s what you need to know about custom military orthotics.

How soldiering affects your body

Military personnel shoulder a heavy load — mentally, emotionally, and physically. Studies show that lugging around the extra weight of equipment, cargo, and weapons has a direct effect on your gait and body posture, which in turn can lead to pain and injury. Not only do heavy loads change the length and timing of your stride, they also force your torso forward and alter your balance and center of gravity. 

These changes cause your knees and hips to flex with each step to support the load, and your ankles to dorsiflex, which means they bend backward. As these joints make adjustments to stabilize your body and the extra weight, they’re at high risk for injury.

What’s more, if you’re wearing standard-issue military boots, you likely don’t have the necessary arch support to pull off this feat. That’s where military orthotics come in.

How military orthotics give you a physical advantage

We custom design your military-grade orthotics with one purpose in mind — to make you more effective. We create your military orthotics to perform a specific task and become an essential piece of your equipment. 

Whether you’re already suffering pain or you want to avoid it and ensure you’re always ready to perform, research shows that military orthotics can give you an advantage by:

For all the benefits military orthotics offer, it may take you a while to get used to the feel and function of your new equipment. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips to help you get used to them.

Tips for breaking in your new military orthotics

Although we’re confident you’ll come to rely on your military orthotics as much as you do your backpack, gear, and weapons, the adjustment period will be a bit easier if you follow these tips.

Begin with brief sessions

When you first start wearing your military orthotics, consider yourself in training. Don’t slide them into your boots and go for a five-mile run. Instead, wear them for about half an hour at a time for the first few days and give your feet a chance to adjust to the new sensation, and your body a chance to ease into a new alignment.

At ease

Once you get used to your new military orthotics, you may be tempted to wear them all day, every day — but that could backfire on you. Your doctor can give you specific parameters depending on your unique needs, but in general, it’s a good idea to give your feet and legs a break several times a day during the first couple of weeks.

Know when to employ orthotics

Eventually, you’ll be able to wear your military orthotics whenever you want, but until your body becomes accustomed to them, we recommend removing them whenever you engage in strenuous exercise or dangerous military exercises.

Increase frequency and duration

Setting daily and weekly goals helps you break in your military orthotics without causing undue soreness. Using an intentional strategy — for example, increasing use by 30 minutes every day — will keep you on mission.

Take care of your military orthotics

Our custom military orthotics are made of high-quality, durable materials designed to withstand the life of a soldier, so you don’t have to baby them, but you do have to provide a certain level of care. They’re easily removable, so when they get dirty, simply slide them out, clean them off, and let them air dry.

Come in for adjustments

Successful soldiers always check their equipment and make adjustments or repairs when necessary, and you should give your military orthotics the same consideration. If you’ve followed the guidelines above and still feel soreness or pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back, you may need a simple adjustment. 

We’re on call for you seven days a week, and we have nine locations throughout Southern California in Chino, Lynwood, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier, and three locations in Los Angeles to serve you, so don’t hesitate to call us or come in for an adjustment. 

To find out if military orthotics can make you a better soldier, consult with your doctor and then bring your prescription to Ortho Engineering, Inc. 

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